River Avon, Wasperton -Sean & Brian - 9am to 3pm
After a relatively dry but chilly week, we decided to head for the river which we expected to be in decent nick. It looked like a good plan when we arrived at the far car park with no-one else in sight. The river looked perfect and we headed off over the stile and into the fields upstream of the swan's neck bend.
We settled on 2 pegs we had fished at the back end of last year. On that occasion I blanked and Brian banked a couple of pike of 7lb and 9lb. I think Brian sniffed a chance to get a Pike on the scorecard, while I was happy to plunder chub, bream, or anything really.
I thought I was doing well to get my pike rod in action before setting up a float or feeder, but I was still a long way behind. Brian has become very adept at getting his predator gear into play and this session saw him blooding a new bite indicator. Gone was the trusty rag and in it's place was something that I'm sure came off a keyring, or maybe a dog lead. Anyway, the theory looked good.
Sadly, the fishing wasn't good and despite various attempts between us with deadbait, maggots, caster & bread on float and feeder, they weren't having any of it. The wind was also getting up a bit and aside form making presentation awkward, it was bloody cold. A move was in order - down to the swan's neck bend to get the wind behind us.
I hadn't bothered to set up a float in my previous peg due to the downstream wind, so I kicked off with the feeder, with the pike rod in the margins. Confidence was much higher in this swim - if nothing else, because it felt 10 degrees hotter!
20 minutes of inactivity had me reaching for the float rod. I was keen to test out my new centre pin and this swim looked perfect for the job. Using one of my homemade avon floats I trotted through at about 6ft deep with double maggot on a size 18. With inch perfect control I teased the float around the swim like a master. Well, I let the flow take it all round the swim and tapped the reel every now and again to slow the float - it looked like I knew what I was doing!
Suddenly the float dipped on that first cast and I was attached to something proper.
A spiritied fight ensued, which saw the fish diving into the snag beneath my feet. Needless to say it was a chub and I had a bit of a dilemma when things went a bit solid. I could just see the fish (snagged), but with a 2lb bottom I couldn't bully it. The solution - in with the net, taking fish, snag and anything else in the way! It worked though and a pristine looking chub of exactly 2lb was banked.
Not a monster by any means, but very welcome and a bonus point for the challenge. Optimism was now high and we pressed on with renewed hope for day. Bizarrely that was the only fish from those pegs. Despite throwing everything at it, we didn't have another sniff. Brian even unleashed his secret weapon - crabsticks, but they too didn't work. Crabsticks do have one advantage over smelt though - if the fish don't want them, Brian hoovers them up!
Scorecard (other species will be added if caught):